Category Archives: Startup


BrainStation is a progressive educational institution that offers a variety of in-class courses revolving around the modern digital landscape.  The BrainStation team is a tight-knit community of thinkers and builders dedicated to providing a flexible education to a wide range of students.  From creators to entrepreneurs, BrainStation’s adaptable curriculum has something for everyone.


BrainStation offers both full and part time courses in design, development, and business in major cities across North America.  Students can choose between web and iOS development, UX design, digital marketing courses, and more. Students spend time outside of the classroom working through readings, videos and tutorials, allowing them to apply the knowledge they have gained on projects in class.  Students are taught and mentored by industry professionals, allowing them to work with some of the best and brightest in the business.


Unlike traditional education, BrainStation classes take place after hours and online, allowing educators to share what they love without leaving the jobs they adore. This means that everything they teach comes directly from their own cutting edge work at innovative companies.  Students leave the BrainStation classroom empowered by a variety of completed projects, and a valuable portfolio to show future employers. Their hands on experience gives them something that a traditional education simply won’t.


Check out BrainStation’s blog to get the latest!


Additionally, check out what TechVibes has to say about BrainStation and learn about Konrad Group’s acquisition of BrainStation back in December.

Mabel’s Labels Launches Redesigned Website

mabelslabelsHamilton, Ontario – May 11, 2015– Mabel’s Labels, the award-winning market leader for labels for the stuff kids lose®, today announced the launch of its new website, The new site, which went live on May 4, 2015, now features a refreshed look, along with new user functions to make purchasing the durable, personalized labels and brand-consumer interaction a more seamless and engaging experience.

“We are proud of Mabel’s Labels’ new brand website and the enhanced experience it will provide our customers,“ says Julie Cole, co-founder of Mabel’s Labels. “Not only does it simplify our e-commerce platform, it allows us to better connect to our valued customers on a more interactive level and keep up with the needs and on-demand purchasing habits of our customers.”

Mabel’s Labels new website experience includes a redesigned home page with user-friendly navigation as well as simplified pages and product builder. While the products everyone knows and love will stay the same, some have been designated with more directive product names. The site has also been mobile optimized, using elegant responsive design, so customers can purchase from their mobile devices with even more ease.

For personalization, customers can now choose from four different fonts: classic, modern, rounded and script, and most labels will be offered in a choice of 6 solid color palettes, including 3 brand new palettes. New icon choices including fox, hedgehog, sloth, panda, giraffe, and lion will also launch along with the redesigned website.

To enhance the user experience, customer login and account management tools have also been revamped. Customers now have the option to create an account, view order histories, take advantage of quick re-orders, adjust newsletter subscription information, track gift card usage, and more. For further brand interaction, customers can also leave reviews and access a live Twitter feed on the site’s homepage.

For more information on Mabel’s Labels, please visit

About Mabel’s Labels

Mabel’s Labels is the award-winning creator of durable “labels for the stuff kids lose!”®. Created by four moms frustrated by their children’s belongings leaving home, never to return, the brand offers classic and special-edition collections of the very best personalized, waterproof name labels and tags possible. Since 2003, Mabel’s Labels has grown from basement start-up into an award- winning, celebrity-loved phenomenon, with their line expanding to include child safety products, household labels and seasonal items. They sell worldwide and across North America via their e-commerce site, fundraisers at schools, daycares, camps and other organizations.

Mabel’s Labels has been featured on The View, Today, The Early Show, Rachael Ray, LIVE! with Regis and Kelly, Parents, In Style, The Washington Post, Huffington Post,, and countless blogs and websites. The brand was named to’s list of 20 Awesome Facebook Fan Pages and Hubspot’s The 15 Best Facebook Pages You’ve Ever Seen. Celebrity moms who have used Mabel’s Labels include Victoria Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rachel Weisz, Heidi Klum and Reese Witherspoon. For more information, visit


Alert: Local talent shifts startup towards Hamilton



Editor’s Note: The below article re-post is about two Hamilton-based individuals who have accepted positions at Shift Alerts in the aftermath of a re-booted Hacking Hamilton event. The best part? Shift Alerts will be setting up a Hamilton office!


Shift Alerts is pleased to announce an expansion to the executive management team. Deborah Schmidt has accepted appointment by the Board of Directors as Chief Executive Officer, with Leo Godreault accepting as Chief Information Officer. Deborah and Leo are both registered nurses with a deep background in information technology and nursing informatics.



Deborah Schmidt is a seasoned nursing executive with experience spanning across the continuum of care as a specialist in Electronic Health Records from implementation, to architecture and product management in home care, and telemedicine. She is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and A+ technician, with certifications in Clinical Research as a Clinical Research Associate. In her experience, Deborah also previously served as a Senior Consultant for Telus Health, Canada’s #1 provider of health solutions for consumers, healthcare providers, and payors. She’s also been a Senior Consultant with healthcare heavyweights xwave Health (acquired by Bell Canada) and GoldCare (acquired by Constellation Software Inc).

“The Shift Alerts technology is quite impressive, the traction is there with momentum only increasing, and same with excitement from the clinical community. Working with the team to date has been incredible and we look forward to creating more value and benefits for everyone our solution has an impact on: patients, caregivers, and the administrative teams. The product strategy has been to combine clinical expertise with smart design and exceptional UX, and it’s working,” says Schmidt.



Leo Godreault’s experience includes placing 1st at the 2012 eHealth Conference Apps Challenge in Vancouver, British Columbia, and 2nd at 2011 Apps for Health in Hamilton, Ontario, with SmartMED, a smartphone medication reminder application that alerts users about when and how to take their medication while recording their adherence for later review. Godreault also holds a position at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton as a Clinical Application Specialist.

“The appointment of these two very experienced and exceptional executives to the management team has enabled us to move at lightning speeds to secure additional clinical pilots and opportunities to further expand our offerings into home care and care team coordination management. Our presence in both the US and Canada is growing, with further expansions planned in Europe for 2016. Building a talented and driven management team is the key to successfully executing on the aforementioned,” says Shift Alerts founder Lidia Sienkowska.

Shift Alerts is currently raising an investment round to accommodate secured clinical deployments, further research and development, and team expansion. Shift Alerts is also currently competing in the Ontario Telehealth Network Design Challenge to produce a new tool for at home care management specifically for Ontario’s aging population. The final product will be presented at the 2015 e-Health conference.


REfficient is “Best for the World” for 3rd Straight Year



Hamilton, Ontario – April 14, 2015 – REfficient has been named to the prestigious “Best for the World” list for environmental impact for the third straight year. This list is published by B Lab and recognizes companies that are best-in-class globally for environmental performance.

REfficient is a marketplace to source quality telecom and AV equipment affordably and sustainably. Companies get access to other business’ surplus inventory, manufacturers’ surplus and new product with environmental designations. Founded in 2010, REfficient now has a customer base in 14 countries that reused over 70,000 products in 2014. Much of REfficient’s work is in the telecom space and the company has all of Canada’s major cable/telecom companies as customers.

REfficient has made the Best for the World List for the Environment every year since becoming a Certified B Corporation. The list is compiled by the US non-profit B Lab and recognizes companies around the world that are leaders in corporate environmental responsibility. The “Best for the World” list includes B Corps that rank in the top 10% of their peers in terms of environmental impact. Moreover, B Corps are already best-in-class, as B Corps overall score about 25% better than other sustainable businesses, while the “Best for the World” recipients achieve ratings 50% better.

“Every year it becomes tougher to make the list, as the number of B Corporations continues to grow and the bar continues to be raised. We were thrilled to make the list in 2013 and again honoured in 2014. For the third straight year, we’re blown away!” says REfficient CEO Stephanie McLarty. “We are excited to see this movement grow every year. We are proud to be a B Corp.”


About B Corps

B Corporations are certified by B Lab, a non-profit organization serving the world leading entrepreneurs using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. There are more than 680 Certified B Corporations from more than 60 industries and 24 countries.

About REfficient

REfficient’s transactional marketplace is built on a “triple-win” model, providing large telecom and AV companies a trusted and efficient platform for deriving value from surplus inventory, while offering buyers reliable, often new equipment at savings of 20-50% over traditional sources. This innovative new green model benefits everyone by reducing waste and increasing resource efficiency. You can follow REfficient at @REfficient and

Media Contact

Elena Doy
905-544-5000 x5002


Sound Options wins second annual Synapse Competition


Hamilton, ON (April 9, 2015) – On April 8, Hamilton’s life science community gathered at McMaster Innovation Park to take part in the Synapse Life Science Competition final showcase.

The event showcased ten teams: seven through poster presentations while the top three teams presented their innovations live on stage to a panel of industry experts, competing for over $35,000 in cash and professional resources.

The top three finalists – Avertus, Blue Orchid and Sound Options – each had 20 minutes to impress the judges, which included executives from Amgen Canada, ASK Solutions Inc., Trellis Capital and Johnson & Johnson.

Sound Options was named the grand prize winner for their effective, affordable and convenient sound therapy for people suffering from tinnitus, a hearing condition that produces ringing in the ears. The company took home $15,000 cash, a $5,000 IP package, and a life science specific $5,000 consulting package from SHI Consulting.

Dr. Michael Chrostowski, founder of Sound Options, spoke to the impact that the awarded prizes will have on his company: “Sound Options will be able to benefit from the prizing we received from this competition in so many ways in our immediate future,” he said. “The prizes could not have been more timely. The Synapse competition and the supporting ecosystem are among many reasons why Hamilton is a great place to start a company. We look forward to continuing to grow and providing more tinnitus sufferers with an effective and customized sound therapy.”

The company’s cutting-edge software analyzes an individual’s tinnitus and hearing loss profile to develop a customized sound-therapy treatment that is clinically proven to be more effective than other solutions, and produces results in half the time of the leading competitor.

Blue Orchid and Avertus both tied for second place, each receiving $1,500 cash and a $5,000 IP package courtesy of one of our legal partners Gowlings, Ridout & Maybee, and Sabeta IP, and ANDzyme took home the poster board prize of $500 cash and an introductory meeting and $1,000 consultation package from Willow Tree Capital.

Avertus has created a home based, wireless, brain monitoring and seizure warning system with active dry electrodes. Over 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy and assessment times for treatment can be lengthy. This is because patients often do not realize they are having a seizure, which can lead to brain damage over time or even death. Avertus has designed a comfortable, home-use technology, which would allow physicians to record brain waves (EEG) without requiring extensive, time-consuming and uncomfortable patient preparation.

Blue Orchid has developed the OrchidLift: a compact and portable sit-to-stand lift aimed to provide an affordable, simple solution to lift, transport and assist with patients’ mobility in their own home. Inaccurate handling and lifting of patients by caregivers can put both parties involved at high risk for further injuries. With the aging population, devices that allow the elderly to remain in their own home longer are becoming increasingly important.

Executive Director at Innovation Factory, David Carter, points to the Synapse competition as a testament to the Hamilton’s growing strength in the health and life sciences: “The innovations we saw today have the potential to be life-changing,” says Carter. “I’m thrilled that our region is paying attention to research coming out of the life sciences. Synapse has shown that Hamilton’s life science cluster is thriving and I’m confident we have the supports in place here to help take these ventures to the world stage.”

The seven poster board finalists included: 12 Squared Diagnostics, ANDzyme, Colourimetric Biosensing, DNA Quantifier, Qidni Labs, RotaNovus and Virtual Possibilities. After the top three finalists presented to the audience, the judges deliberated while keynote Niall Wallace, co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Infonaut Inc., discussed his own experience building Infonaut from a start-up, to the successful evidence-based infection control company it is today. His talk touched on pitching for investment, what investors look for, and pointers for growing Hamilton’s life science cluster.

The event concluded with Dr. Clive Ward-Able, Executive Director, Amgen Canada, the appointed judge-representative, announcing the winners live on stage.

The Synapse final showcase is the culmination of months of hard work. Back in January, the competition teamed up life science innovators with business and engineering students from McMaster University. Together, each team produced both business and commercialization plans for their ventures. All of the finalists also participated in training sessions to help them complete the plans and fully prepare for the final showcase.

Generous prize contributors included Hamilton Health Sciences, GlaxoSmithKline, Mohawk College, Bay Area Health Trust, McMaster Innovation Park, Ridout & Maybee LLP, Gowlings LLP, Sabeta IP, SHI Consulting, Willow Tree Capital, and supporting partners included McMaster Industry Liaison Office, Ontario Centres of Excellence, TechAlliance, W Booth School of Engineering, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, the City of Hamilton and St. Joseph’s Healthcare.


QReserve launches Collaborative Funding Directory

qreserveHamilton, Ontario, March 31, 2015 — McMaster University startup, QReserve Inc., is happy to announce the launch of their Collaborative Funding Directory as a free resource for researchers and industry to discover funding opportunities in support of collaborative research projects.

“Academia and industry are working together more than ever and our funding atmosphere reflects this, with an increasing number of grant programs requiring some form of collaboration”, say QReserve Inc.’s CEO, Brandon Aubie. “The QReserve Collaborative Funding Directory provides an easy to access, free resource to both academics and industry to explore the multitude of funding opportunities available to them in Canada.”

The QReserve Collaborative Funding has been hand curated from multiple sources to provide a directory of over 50 funding sources uniquely targeted toward collaborative research. All funding sources can be browsed in one location with links to their respective program and sub-program websites for further information. QReserve plans to update the Collaborative Funding Directory on an ongoing basis to continue offering up-to-date information that supports collaborative research.

Browse the QReserve Collaborative Funding Directory online at


About QReserve Inc.

QReserve Inc. was founded in 2014 at McMaster University to support collaborative research. The company provides an open-access online platform for cataloguing and searching research equipment and services across universities, colleges and research institution. QReserve offers a student support program to help universities catalogue resources across research groups and their search platform integrates with existing university websites to provide turn-key institutional resource databases. QReserve currently operates out of the McMaster Innovation Park in Hamilton, Ontario and has received generous funding from the Ontario Centres of Excellence, FedDev, IRAP (Government of Canada).


REfficient Sponsors the Junos Awards Festival



Hamilton, Ontario – February 19, 2015 – REfficient is proud to announce they are a sponsor of the 2015 Juno Awards Festival, Canada’s music awards. The company is sponsoring a stage as part of the Turn It On Streetcrawl on Friday, March 12.

REfficient is a Hamilton-based company that sells used and surplus new commercial grade Audio Video gear as part of its repurposing program. REfficient manages the surplus of large companies and sells it to smaller companies and individuals that can reuse it. The audio video equipment includes speakers, amplifiers, road cases and other gear. Along with REfficient’s telecom division, the company has become the Canadian go-to to find quality equipment at affordable prices. REfficient has customers in nine Canadian provinces, three Canadian territories and 12 other countries.

Hamilton is the 2015 host city of the Junos, Canada’s music awards. This year Hamilton has planned a full week of activities called JunoWeek, including a Turn It On Streetcrawl on Friday evening. REfficient is sponsoring a stage that will feature some of Canada’s most promising artists.

REfficient CEO Stephanie McLarty said the opportunity to support both the local and national music industry was a clear decision, “We have been outfitting local sound engineers and musicians with AV gear since 2012, and so we are absolutely thrilled to support the Junos in our hometown of Hamilton and Canada’s music industry at large,” says McLarty.

About REfficient

REfficient’s transactional marketplace is built on a “triple-win” model, providing large telecom and AV companies a trusted and efficient solution for deriving value from surplus inventory, while offering buyers reliable, often new equipment at savings of 20-50% over traditional sources. This innovative new green model benefits everyone by reducing waste and increasing resource efficiency. You can follow REfficient at @REfficient and

Bruno Venesia
905-544-5000 x5011


Interview with Stephen Dagg of White Flag



stephendaggStephen Dagg has worked in creative director and art director roles in the video game industry at companies like Electronic Arts and SAVA Transmedia where he helped create games such as Army of Two: The 40th Day and Need for Speed: Nitro. Since moving back to Hamilton Stephen has founded White Flag Entertainment (@White_Flag_) and launched mobile game Flippin’ Doo Doo.

Check out the interview with Stephen Dagg below!


How did you get started in the video game industry?

I received an offer to join EA Montreal’s cinematic department from a good friend of mine; we had previously worked together at Mainframe Entertainment in TV and film production.


Why did you move to Hamilton and start White Flag?

I was born in Hamilton and after living all over Canada for tens years I wanted to move closer to family. Hamilton has opportunities that I felt would be beneficial to a gaming company. The tech industry is growing here and schools are starting gaming specific programs. The community here is very supportive and wants to be engaged and be a part of the change we see happening in this city.


What is Flippin’ Doo Doo?

Flippin’ Doo-Doo is much like Flappy Bird or Jet pack Joy Ride. You launch your doo-doo from a cow, in hopes of reaching Farmer Al’s Throne… a toilet! You must pass through obstacles of hay, collecting toilet paper along the way, to out “doo” your friends. The game is silly but fun and addictive and we’re constantly building new features to improve the user experience.




What tools were used to build Flippin’ Doo Doo?

We used many tools and plugins. Most notably Unity (the free version), Photoshop, Sourcetree and Dropbox, along with various tablets and phones for testing.


How has Flippin’ Doo Doo been received so far?

The game has been received quite well. The ratings are fantastic with 4.4 stars and over 4,500 users so far. We believe there is room for us to compete in the market. We must keep optimizing, however, to maximize the potential revenue and continue user engagement.


How is Flippin’ Doo Doo monetized?

The game uses various in-game ad services and in-app purchases to drive monetization. Our economy needs to be rebalanced at present. These new changes should increase sales to hit our revenue target.




How are you marketing Flippin’ Doo Doo?

We use every channel available to bring awareness to the game. We’re still optimizing the game so marketing is low at the moment but getting the numbers right is important before the masses play your game. All social media needs to be used and sharing your experience is important for small independent company to grow our fan base. In app ads are one of the fastest ways to acquire users. Press reviews, bloggers and Youtubers are a huge part in getting the word out to the world. They are instrumental in the success of aps rising to the top of the charts.


How has the experience been building a game and company in Hamilton?

The experience has been fantastic! There has been a lot of support from the community. I’ve met some great people with a lot of talent here and I think we can make something happen!


Any advice to students looking at breaking into the video game industry?

I find you’re always trying to break into the gaming industry! Even after working in the business for over ten years you’re constantly proving yourself. Working hard and having good knowledge is key, but one of the most important things I feel is applying everywhere you can and networking until someone gives you a shot! Sometimes it’s just timing and who you know.




Any advice to others looking at starting an indie video game company?

Having a solid team is probably the biggest point. Understanding the industry is something that people tend to overlook; making the game is the easy part but it’s all the rest that makes it so hard to compete. You must understand this before you jump into the business. Look for funding wherever you can because you will always need more time and money than you think. Learn to handle problems in your production with a smile; as you strive to make the best games you can, passionate disputes with your team-mates can lead to problems in production and may lead to its demise. This is a tough business and you have to really want it to make it happen!


Weever Apps Partners with Xerox



Hamilton, ON — (ReleaseWire) — 02/13/2015 — The term innovation may be a trendy buzzword, but its core meaning – to reinvent, to rethink, to evolve – will always be at the heart of great companies that do great things.

Xerox knows innovation because the company basically invented its principles. The technology revolution, spawned by Xerox and others decades ago, has provided a fertile landscape from which other like-minded companies have grown. One such company is Weever Apps – a mobile solutions company that embraces the principles of innovation.

Specializing in Mobile-First Actionable Data (M-FAD), Weever Apps works with clients globally to help streamline workflows through mobile technologies. At the heart of M-FAD solutions is the mobile experience – apps designed to collect data from the field and provide frontline staff with the right information at the right time.

Document management is a big job, and it’s getting bigger. Xerox develops strategic partnerships with specialized experts to provide the world’s most comprehensive array of workflow solutions.

The Xerox Business Innovation Partner program is a world-class, global initiative that connects some of the brightest companies from around the world in an effort to create solutions that extend the functionality of Xerox products and services.

“The partnership is a natural one,” adds Steve McBride, CEO, Weever Apps. “Both companies embrace the spirit of collaboration and integration. Weever Apps’ technology is built to integrate seamlessly with business software platforms, including Xerox DocuShare.”

Xerox and Weever Apps also share an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction. “We both work with customers through a consultative approach designed to understand client’s unique business challenges and develop cost-effective solutions to overcome them,” says McBride.

Xerox will greatly expand Weever App’s reach through its extensive coast-to-coast world-class sales network. “Xerox has built an exceptional reputation in the business world by implementing document solutions for their customers. We are excited to align our solutions, with their customers challenges,” says McBride.

Through this partnership, Xerox will expand its mobile solutions and mobile app development capabilities. As customers are realizing the benefits that a mobile solution can offer, Xerox is poised to deliver.

“This new partnership will help us to deliver innovative and relevant mobile solutions to our customers, so they can optimize their document and workflow processes,” says Charles Chang, General Manager, Business Partner Alliance and Solutions, Xerox Canada.

“The great thing about going mobile is that our customers can realize dramatic benefits without being forced to reinvent how they do business,” says McBride. “Mobile solutions can simply replace manual data entry methods by collecting the same information on a phone or tablet instead of a paper form”.

Besides cost and efficiency benefits, digital data collection offers many advantages over paper form collection:

– Facilitate dynamic 2-way workflow process between office administrators and field workers.

– Collect pictures and e-signature approvals.

– Work with customers in real-time to create estimates using up-to-date price lists and catalogues.

– Geo-locate staff or equipment at any time.

Mobile-First Actionable Data (M-FAD) solutions deliver meaningful data to decision makers. From day-to-day project details to C-level strategic directives, in order to be actionable, data must be accessible, relevant and timely. M-FAD solutions make relevant data available and accessible quickly through effective data management and integration with other business systems, including Xerox DocuShare.

For more information visit To contact directly, email
or call 800-299-0623.

About Weever Apps

Weever Apps is an innovative mobile solutions firm headquartered in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Weever Apps specializes in Mobile-First Actionable Data solutions that use mobile apps, data management and integrations to dramatically streamline workflows and communications. Weever Apps uses a consultative process to understand client challenges and design unique, cost-efficient solutions that overcome them.

Media Relations Contact
Steve McBride
Weever Apps
Telephone: 800-299-0623


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